Robert Patrick KELLY

10/19/1941 ~ 03/20/2015 Carlsbad, CA

Born in Oceanside in 1941, Pat was the youngest child of Carroll and Alice Kelly and brother to Richard C. Kelly and Irene Hendriks. Carroll Kelly was a farmer and businessman and a member of the pioneering Kelly clan who, in 1870, acquired the Rancho Agua Hedionda from the Marron's, one of the founding families of San Diego, who received the Ranch as a Mexican Land Grant in 1842.

The Kelly's continue to live today in the original old adobe ranch house. Pat's mom, Alice Kelly, was among the earliest women doctors in the state of California, and during WWII, she delivered most of the babies born in the North County, including many of Pat's friends and contemporaries.

Pat grew up in Oceanside and then in Carlsbad. He graduated from the newly constructed Carlsbad High School in 1959. His high school sweetheart, Karen Robinson, would eventually become his beloved wife and partner of nearly forty years. As a youth and a teen, Pat worked for his father, driving tractor, planting, and harvesting crops.

This helped instill in him a love of farming that lasted his entire life. In the 60's, he volunteered for the Peace Corps and spent two years in Bolivia, working on agricultural projects.

He attended San Diego State College, receiving a BA and an MA in Latin American Studies. He was also a surfer, a guitar player, a carpenter, a trust manager, an independent contractor, a mountain man, and an award- winning woodworker. Pat was much like the garden he loved. He believed in hard work, gentle nurturing, patience, and the sharing of bounty that those principals yield.

Pat lived his life with kindness, generosity, humor, and integrity. In his final hours, he was surrounded by family and friends, a quartet of guitars, and a chorus of his very favorite songs. He was the finest caliber of husband, father, and son, and a good friend to all who were lucky enough to know him. He will live forever in our hearts.

Pat will be profoundly missed by his wife, Karen Kelly, and his family, Pauline Robinson, Sara Kelly and Chris Stapleton, Tressa and Don Handfield, Rob Di Figlia and fiancée, Laura De La Peña, and his three grandchildren, who loved going out to the garden with their "Pops."

No formal services are planned. For those interested, donations in Pat's honor can be made to:

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Mar. 29, 2015.

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